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Sunday, June 19, 2016


REALNESS screenwriting residency commenced on June 16 in partnership with the Durban Talents programme at The Durban International Film Festival and the Durban FilmMart. It was conceived by Urucu Media as a way of addressing a need for promising African film projects to be resourced and supported in the development phase in order to be competitive in the global film market. The five selected residents were announced in Cannes and will begin their participation with an immersive industry experience where they will introduce their projects during Story Junction, an open project presentation on June 20 at 15h00 at the Elangeni Hotel.

During their time at the festival, the participants will be under the mentorship of Nigerian-British script consultant, Selina Ukwuoma. Selina regularly tutors, lectures, and leads workshops in screenwriting and pitching at film schools and film festivals. In the past, she worked for EON screenwriters’ Workshop, literary and talent agency Curtis Brown, and their production arm CUBA Pictures. Projects she has worked on range from the BAFTA-winning Boy A to The Teddy and FIPRESCI Prize-winning Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (The Way He Looks). Ukwuoma has completed degrees in screenwriting, professional writing, and social anthropology.

After the Durban leg, participants will move into their residency space at Nirox in The Cradle of Humankind. Where they will be mentored by Nadja Dumouchel. Nadja is currently engaged with Groupe Ouest and European Short Pitch, in universities teaching scriptwriting, as a reader for the CNC and in film journalism. She worked as a programmer and commissioning editor for ARTE’s short film magazine Court-Circuit. She was later hired by the international distribution and production company Premium Films in Paris, before going back to ARTE in the feature film section in 2010. Nadja was trained as a story editor at the TorinoFilmLab and facilitates the program Next Step, run by Cannes Semaine De La Critique. She is co-founder of “La Scénaristerie”, a development platform for screenwriters in Paris.

REALNESS is thrilled to welcome new partners, Locarno Filmmakers Academy, Midpoint and Cinémathèque Africa. Locarno Filmmakers Academy facilitates daily interaction with directors, producers and other industry professionals with an international profile will allow participants to explore their own directorial identities and hone their professional skills. On June 5 it was announced that Hiwot Adamasu was selected to attend this year’s edition. Midpoint was conceived with the aim of strengthening creative collaboration between writer, director and producer in the development process. One of the residents will be invited, along with their producer, to attend the Feature Launch Workshop of 2017 with a full scholarship.

Founded in 1961 by the Instituit Francais, the Cinémathèque Africa offers one of the most important collections of African films from the 1960s to today. The African Film Library offers professionals and programmers around the globe a catalog of over 1600 films for noncommercial distribution. The initiative is donating 20 films to REALNESS for case study during the course of the six-week residency, complimenting the World Cinema Fund’s contribution of absolute access to WCF On Demand, a VoD platform which showcases their most successful supported films. These film libraries will be an inportant resource to the residents.